Let’s Debunk common online privacy myths for better security

Maintaining online privacy nowadays isn’t easy given to the numerous data we share and receive every day. On top of that, government standards, corporations and cybercriminals are further ripping apart whatever little internet privacy users are left with.

The concern is 2018 heightened more than ever as the allegations deepens from election interference, surveillance to more recent charges of unauthorised data access and exploitation against the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. 

In fact, we get to receive a new update on particular form of data breach and infringement of online user privacy. Though we’ve an endless list of digital privacy and security standards, not all’s good and practically achievable.

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Following the above reasons, we’ve put together some of the most common online myths and debunked them for good.

Myth#1: VIPs & the elite class are hackers only target

Indeed, valuable and high-end targets appeal more to hackers but, most prefer casting a wider net and capture almost anyone they can get their hands on. To understand what makes you a perfectly valid target, it’s important to note than these scammers and hackers aren’t always after biggest of the back accounts but it’s all about sensitive and more lucrative trade that can be anyone. 

Hackers then blackmail such individuals and companies by launching DDoS attacks, take control of the network and ask for ransom against. These hackers are shrewd enough to manipulate social media accounts just to sell dozens of unoriginal and false likes to savvy marketers and friends as a means to spread the scope of their attack.

This way, anyone can be a target as the aim of hackers is to hit as many users as possible.

Myth#2: Going incognito online is the ultimate solution

Almost every internet browser features private mode but the level of actual ‘privacy’ offered by these is least most. In fact, these browsers are more candid about their abilities as well as limitations, if only users would read the instructions before going incognito when online.

These modes only prevent the browser from collecting cookies which websites use to monitor traffic which is a good start but not much, especially if you wish being anonymous or something closer. Still, websites can fingerprint users, send the tracking data to the cache and can detect IP addresses.

Proxy extensions for the browsers is an acceptable step but even this isn’t enough. This is because not all the proxy extensions can be encrypted and even those that are limited exclusively to the browser’s functionality. It means any online communication that’s executed from your device and beyond the browser’s realm wouldn’t be tracked.

A proxy extension however helps in obscuring your location, prevent cookies and other tracking tools from extending out to your browser; depends on the proxy being used.

Myth#3: Only friends can access private Facebook data

The social media giant, Facebook comes with a lot of privacy and security settings. Understanding how it can control your data is possible only if you can comprehend all the standards properly. A few most common are;

User name and ID, profile and cover image, gender and network will always remain publicly available.

Adding any app will be given access to the friend’s list. Though settings can be modified, there’ve been issues over the transparency.

Facebook has many different setting that can be tweaked that’ll make your account ‘close’ or ‘open’ as much as possible. This is why it’s important to explore each in detail and understand how they work. It’s surprising how open and clear some of the Facebook’s default settings can be. The second point is most important since it’s associated directly to the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Being the biggest social media platform, Facebook has millions of users that were all shocked (literally) when it was revealed that the company accessed user data without any consent and that it helped during the Donald Trump election campaign in the U.S.

More to come

Cloud computing security is important more than anything and we’ll continue the discussion for further clarification along with the role of PCI DSS cloud.

About Basheer Ahmad

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